Assessing the pyrogenicity of whole influenza virus particle vaccine in cynomolgus macaques

Vaccine. 2023 Jan 16;41(3):787-794. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2022.12.020. Epub 2022 Dec 14.


Among inactivated influenza vaccines, the whole virus particle vaccine (WPV) elicits superior priming responses to split virus vaccine (SV) in efficiently inducing humoral and cellular immunity. However, there is concern for undesired adverse events such as fever for WPV due to its potent immunogenicity. Therefore, this study investigated the febrile response induced by subcutaneous injection with quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccines of good manufacturing grade for pharmaceutical or investigational products in cynomolgus macaques. Body temperature was increased by 1 °C-2 °C for 6-12 h after WPV administration at the first vaccination but not at the second shot, whereas SV did not affect body temperature at both points. Given the potent priming ability of WPV, WPV-induced fever may be attributed to immune responses that uniquely occur during priming. Since WPV-induced fever was blunted by pretreatment with indomethacin (a cyclooxygenase inhibitor), the febrile response by WPV is considered to depend on the increase in prostaglandins synthesized by cyclooxygenase. In addition, WPV, but not SV, induced the elevation of type I interferons and monocyte chemotactic protein 1 in the plasma; these factors may be responsible for pyrogenicity caused by WPV, as they can increase prostaglandins in the brain. Notably, sufficient antibody responses were acquired by half the amount of WPV without causing fever, suggesting that excessive immune responses to trigger the febrile response is not required for acquired immunity induction. Thus, we propose that WPV with a reduced antigen dose should be evaluated for potential clinical usage, especially in naïve populations.

Keywords: Inactivated whole influenza virus particle vaccine; Pyrogenicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Fever / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Influenza Vaccines*
  • Influenza, Human* / prevention & control
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Orthomyxoviridae*
  • Prostaglandins
  • Vaccines, Inactivated


  • Influenza Vaccines
  • Vaccines, Inactivated
  • Prostaglandins
  • Antibodies, Viral